Getting off the underground at Moorgate the other day took me straight back in time to when I first worked in the city at the tender age of 17… Coming from a small town, it was hard not to feel a bit like Country Mouse at first amongst the colossal buildings of the Square Mile. It didn’t take long to become addicted to my amazing capital city though, and just a few years later we moved to South West London where I commuted a short distance to a great job in Holborn for years (until I moved on to the next chapter of my life when I became a Mother in 2005!).
Our current life in Bavaria is at completely the other end of the scale location wise, which is something I sometimes struggle with having had access to life on tap in London 24 hours a day. Not that I am complaining (most of the time), Bavaria provides a wonderfully healthy environment for the Small people, but there’s just a part of me that relaxes and sighs a happy sigh as soon as I am back in more of an urban environment…
The memories of days spent in both of those jobs surface from time to time, but the days I perhaps cherish the most are those I spent working in that first job on Watling Street for my very lovely and much missed Uncle. He was a great boss. Sometimes tough, but very fair, and loved by his staff for being a great advocate of things like compulsory bacon sandwiches, and the all important Friday Cake Day. And on Friday’s this is what I always always chose from a tiny coffee shop around the corner – Bakewell Tart, now also known as Nostalgia Cake. Enjoy…
I have added pastry making to a set of new life skills gained as an Expat, having been disappointed so many times by shop bought stuff that tastes either like playdough or soap. It’s really not that difficult to make, and I usually use Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Sweet Shortcrust pastry, for thing like this, freezing any left over for next time…
- Raspberry Jam;
- 150g softened unsalted butter;
- 150g caster sugar;
- 3 beaten eggs, 1 egg yolk;
- 150g ground almonds;
- zest of half a lemon
- a sprinkling of flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan oven) and line a 22cm tin or flan dish with baking paper. Roll out the pastry to around 5mm thickness, and place in the tin. Prick pastry with a fork, and leave to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or so. Line with more baking paper, and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Leave to cool.
Once the pastry is cool, spread the jam to a thickness of your liking over the bottom of the pastry case. In a food mixer, beat together the butter and sugar, slowly adding the eggs, then add the almond flour and lemon zest. Pour the mixture on top of the jam and spread to the edges of the tin. Bake for 20 minutes, then take out of the oven and sprinkle on the flaked almonds (I think on this occasion, I used around 4tbsps). Put back in the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes or so until risen and set.
Leave to cool (or not) and enjoy a slice or three with a pot of real English Tea…
This looks so tasty!
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Thank you Cathy (:
Lynn H @ Turnips 2 Tangerines says
Oh, would I love a slice:) This looks like a dessert my Grandma made during the holidays, many years ago, well not that many:) I love recipes that trigger a memory, of days gone by. I worked at a restaurant when I was younger and every time I smell cinnamon I think of that lovely place:) Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines
Thank you Lynn (:
Oh, what a beautiful cake! :) Thank you so much for linking up with me this week at Tasty Tuesdays! I’ve pinned this & shared it with my followers! Please be sure to stop back by the party and check out some of the other links!
Thanks very much Anyonita :)
I tell a lie, I started work in London in 1985. I’m not as old as I made out…though older than most!
You’re not old! xx
That’s brought back memories of living in London too. I finished University in 1982 and started work at John Lewis in Oxford St. I don’t think I made the most of my time there – I seemed to live in the shop or underground travelling there. I appreciate the city far more when I visit now.
Maybe we only really appreciate it when we visit. I know I took it for granted when I was there… xx
Mama Syder says
I totally get what you mean about feeling nostalgic for London. I grew up there and I think of it as home, but I love country life to much to consider living there again. I do feel very nostalgic about they ole place though and pop in every few months.
Love bakewell, will be trying this recioe, Thankyou x
Strange isn’t it! Thank you Mama S. Enjoy the tart! :) x
Looks delicious! I miss the big city days too but we never had cake like that, I clearly didn’t have a boss as good as yours.
He was a very good boss! Made us go to the shop to get it though! Thank you Kirsty! :)
That looks lovely, I love Bakewell tart, haven’t had some in years, especially the home made sort!
Aw thank you! :)
Love it. And I love Bakewell Tart. I also moved to London at 17 and felt a little out of place too.
Thank you… You can’t beat a good bakewell! :D
Coombemill - Fiona says
It’s amazing how many happy memories are evoked with food! Lovely post and delicious looking cake.
Far too many! Thanks Fiona! :)
A Patchwork Life says
Nostalgia cake is such a lovely way of putting it. Finding I’m more sentimental now about things like food that remind me of happy times. Surprising how strong the memories can be. Bakewell tart was always a sunday lunch favourite – takes me back to our old orange kitchen with the 70’s wallpaper :) x
Thank you… Strange isn’t it?.. That and certain smells that remind you of years gone by! :) x
Thank you! :)
Will have to try.
It’s good Brooke, I think you would like it! :)
The positives of the expat life is having the time to perfect this – it looks amazing but I totally understand that feeling of the big city and memories of jobs!
True enough! There are good points as well as bad! :D x
A few tears came to my eyes reading this. Sometimes nostalgia, or a memory, can be so strong that I find I almost struggle for breath. I’m a country/small village girl through and through but there’s something about London that gives it a special place in my heart. I love it there.
Thank you Rachel… amazing how something can take you back! Hope you are well xx
Sally (Recipe Junkie) says
Great story – I love it when you bite into something and a load of happy memories come flooding back. Bakewell tart is a big favourite here. In fact, you may have solved my pudding dilemma for today.
Thanks Sally… It’s strange how food and memories can be so intertwined sometimes isn’t it? :)
Helen The good life mum says
ohhh i love love love bakewell tart
This one didn’t last long or else you could have had a bit! :)
Luci - mother.wife.me says
Ooh delish recipe! My husband and I often talk about making the ‘big move’ to the country, but every time I come back to our home in Hackney and every time I walk around Shoreditch where our business is, I know where my heart really lies!
Thank you… It’s a strange feeling isn’t it. I think we are just spoiled in London! :D
Orli D says
I related so much to one sentence in your beautiful post – I am an expat living in the UK, and though I’ve learnt to love British baking, I still miss baked goods from “back home”. And even if you can find some of them here, it is not the same… So whenever I feel a little nostalgic, I bake…
Thanks so much Orli! I am glad it’s not just me, but it really does help though doesn’t it? Not that good for dieting though! :)
Love your post. I took a nostalgia trip around the City last weekend too (Britmums Live). I love the idea of nostalgia cake, although I pictured you at a germanic patisserie. I love the pictures of the bakewell and I’m sure it is all the better for being homemade!
Thank you! That’s what I was there for too! Loved my little trip down memory lane beforehand! :)
Brinabird and Son says
I will save you a bit! :)
Sarah@The View From the Table says
Ah, lovely. All the best cake comes with a story.
Thank you xx